Gone, but not forgotten – an extra special bird

HRH - Terry's favourite, and a show winner

HRH - Terry's favourite, and a show winner - Credit: Archant

For poultry fancier Terry Beebe, there was one extra special bird. And thereby hangs a tale…. Terry Beebe

A sculpture of HRH

A sculpture of HRH - Credit: Archant

I kept Polands for many years and bred and exhibited them with great success. I love the breed and kept a full range of colours. My dream was to breed the perfect bird, then, quite a few years ago, I bred what I believe was the almost perfect Poland cockerel. He was a white crested black bantam cockerel. I never normally name any birds, but this one was the exception: he was called HRH. I chose that name as he looked so regal and proud and he strutted around the pens as though he owned the world. He was as good as they get and won many shows in the bantam soft feather classes as well as the breed club shows.

I wanted to breed from HRH, but unfortunately never had the chance as he was stolen at the Reading Bantam Show. He had won a prize, but during the night he was stolen along with a couple of others birds, including his Poland sister. Obviously someone knew exactly what they were looking for!

Sculpture

He was, without doubt, my favourite bird of all time, and losing him was very hard to deal with. But the story does not end there. HRH was featured in a magazine article in the USA and a sculptor from South Carolina, Tammy Leigh Brooks, read the story and decided to try and make up for the loss. Working from the photo, she recreated HRH in all his glory in clay. Every feather was marked and all the crest feathers individually sculpted; the result was unbelievable and HRH is now on display in my home. This at least shows that there are people out there who are very caring and a pleasure to know.

Tammy even drove from South Carolina to Alabama were I was staying to deliver the statue in person. This was all done without any cost to myself and is one of the best gifts I have ever received.

We have remained friends to this day and I will never be able to repay her kindness. Thanks to her, I have a very stunning reminder of my all time favourite bird, HRH.

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